Drogba return from China? Liverpool and Arsenal stand by

Didier Drogba of Shanghai Shenhua

It’s looking more likely that Drogba and Anelka will return to Premier League from troubled Shenhua

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 07:34 ON Mon 17 Sep 2012

THE futures of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka should be resolved this week with the former Chelsea pair perhaps heading back to the Premier League. According to the Evening Standard their current employers, Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, will resolve their internal financial wrangling one way or the other by the end of the month.

Zhu Jun, the billionaire tycoon responsible for pumping huge amounts of money into the club, has threatened to pull the plug on Shenhua if he’s not given greater control.

With no agreement on the horizon, Zhu has taken to Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, to issue an ultimatum to his co-owners: “I made a difficult decision to believe you one more time, one last time! And this time I have a deadline: two weeks.”

If Zhu doesn’t get his wishes, he’ll reportedly withdraw his money and that will leave Shenhua unable to pay the wages of Drogba and Anelka. The Standard says Liverpool might make a move for Drogba although Arsenal have also been linked with the Ivorian striker.

The uncertain future of Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini is causing much excitement in the papers, not to mention the odd weak pun. 'Hair Raising!' shouts the Daily Mirror in a gratuitous nod to the big Belgian's barnet. What's exactly hair-raising, the paper doesn't really elaborate on, except to say Manchester United are "keeping tabs" on the powerfully built playmaker.

Earlier in the month Fellaini indicated he was unlikely to remain at Goodison Park for much longer, perhaps looking to leave as early as January, a statement that allegedly sent Toffees boss David Moyes ballistic. "I have got no problem if other clubs start circling for my players," said Moyes. "Clubs can circle, but the window has just shut, and we're in a strong position as far as his contract is concerned."

Fellaini signed a new five-year contract with Everton earlier in the year but Moyes admitted that it might well be worthless if a club comes in with a big offer in the New Year. "Whatever happens now, whatever Fellaini says, he is here for at least the next four months," explained Moyes. "He might be here even longer than that."

Meanwhile the Daily Mail says it's not United that Everton need to be concerned about, it's Chelsea. Apparently the Blues "are set to test Everton's resolve" with a £30m offer for the 24-year-old when January's transfer window opens.

In other news  the Daily Star claims that Chelsea are prepared to square up to Barcelona for the hand of "wonderkid" Gerard Deulofeu. The 18-year-old prodigy has come through the ranks at the Camp Nou and has already been given a run in the first team this season on the wing.

But Deulofeu is still on a youth contract and that's given Chelsea an outside chance of pinching the teenager from under the noses of Barcelona before he signs a full-time deal with the Spanish giants. The youngster's agent, Gines Carvajal, was giving nothing away when the Star contacted him although he admitted he was aware of Chelsea's interest. "But for now the kid is only focusing on Barcelona," said Carvajal.

Finally The Sun reckons that the form of Torino centre-back Angelo Ogbonna has come to the attention of both Everton and Manchester United. The 24-year-old Italian defender has been in fine form this year for the Serie A outfit and the pair of Premier League clubs apparently believe he has the skill set to thrive in England.

The Sun says that though Ogbonna, who is of Nigerian heritage, is contracted to Torino for another four years, an offer in the region of £16m could persuade the Italian club to sell the strapping 6ft 2in defender. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.